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Tuesday 30 September 2014

10 signs you know Irish spring has sprung

Published 07/04/2014 | 10:07

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No doubt you'll be making a return to Pilates classes to help get 'bikini fit'

Goodbye to boxsets and comfort eating. Hello to shaping up and embracing the patio again.

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1. Chocolate ODing

It’s meant to be just one day of the year but somehow, Easter Sunday’s chocolate-tasticness now begins early February and ends mid-May. Crème Egg? Don’t mind if you do. Crème Egg biscuits? Those also too, please. Actually, it doesn’t matter if it’s artisan or supermarket bar, an Irish spring brings the realisation that you can have too much of a good thing but it is has to stop soon. Thank goodness. 

2. Garden guilt

Basically, there wasn’t much you could do over the winter months. But now the beautiful spring light has highlighted the shambles that is your garden. There is grass to cut, decking to de-moss, garden centres to visit and herb gardens to replant. Fear not. It will regain its former glory once again. But do think about buying a new lawnmower.

3. Walkers

Be they of the strolling kind or the more athletic sort, there they are, pounding the pavements, all decked out in the latest, coolest sports apparel. The choices are clear: either join them and get high on the dopamine buzz a spring time walk can give or don’t, and hate them for their energy and verve. The guilt will get you in the end so the former is much healthier.

4. Bikini body dread

The Christmas poundage hangover frequently lingers well until Easter and sometimes beyond. It’s hard to get too worked up about carrying a little holiday weight while still swathed in comfy knitwear and elasticated pants. And then the horrible realisation dawns that your beach holiday is only eight weeks away and you’re more Dunlop tyre than human. Cue a new appreciation of ‘Get bikini fit in 3 days’ features in magazines and possible purchase of an exercise DVD from a former reality TV star. Plus, you’re definitely going back to Pilates.

5. Sunday drives

There’s absolutely no reason why these cannot also happen during winter months but it’s just all so much more pleasant when there’s some lovely green foliage to look at and that when you reach your desired destination, you don’t have to stay in the car because it’s lashing rain. Taking a road trip becomes a million miles more appealing when you know you can stretch your legs at the end of it. Double points if there’s a sunroof you can take down. If not, elbow crooked out the window, farmer’s tan guaranteed, is always good.

6. Flashing the flesh

It might just be a hint of clavicle; it could be hint of toned tummy on display. Spring makes us Irish want to get our limbs out and, as befitting a nation generally bereft of much sun, with the slightest amount of UV ray encouragement, we’re on it. The complete banishment of black tights usually does not occur until the height of summer but in the meantime, sales of necessary fake tan will soar and hair salons prepare themselves for the onslaught of requests for ‘sun kissed’ locks. And book that pedicure while you’re at it.

7. Entertaining al fresco

You haven’t seen the neighbours properly since their New Year’s Eve party. Time to return the favour and have them over for a bite to eat and some drinks, and maybe, even possibly, get out the barbecue. What could be nicer than a catch up on the patio on a balmy evening? Although you know even thinking the word ‘barbecue’ is likely to incur a shower of hail storms. But hope springs eternal.  Yet thinking about doing anything al fresco also brings you to…

8. Wardrobe overhauling

Yeah. The theory is that you will curate your existing clothes and give what you can to charity shops, mend where it’s appropriate and bin anything that doesn’t/will ever fit you. The reality is you do none of the above but decide that your life is not complete without that lemon-coloured, collarless Zara coat and a pair of culottes. You will also decide that you need a lot more pastels in your life, and possibly more statement necklaces. Maybe even a designer rucksack

9. Nasal ‘issues’

It all becomes pollen-tastic. Not an issue for those who don’t suffer with the hell that is sinusitis/hay fever. But for those who do, it’s hello again to the anti-histamines and maybe separate beds for those nights when partners simply can’t deal with the snore fest and heavy breathing pollen-intolerance creates. Sneezies.

10. You go towards the lite

What seemed like a tiny repast only a month ago – a massive helping of casserole, all the spuds and slices of bread as an aperitif – is now abhorrent. You’re craving lighter, fresher, more delicious things. A salad? Why not. Something featuring asparagus, broad beans and chicken breast? Bring it on. It’s partly bikini body fear but it’s also feeling like you don’t have to stuff your face to get you through the dark evenings. And what do you know?  You’ve lost 5lb and you haven’t even been trying.

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